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Professors Bailey, Sealey talk about their careers in social work

Gary-Bailey1.jpgIn honor of Social Work Month, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) interviewed Simmons School of Social Work professors Gary Bailey and Dr. Beverly Sealey about their experiences in the field.

The following is an excerpt from a Q&A conducted by the NASW:

Professor Bailey, why did you choose social work as your profession?

I did not choose social work, social work chose me. I always knew that I wanted to work directly with people. My parents, especially my mother, were very much engaged at the community level, and in retrospect, my mother was a non-credentialed community organizer.

My parents had grown up under the yoke of apartheid in this country and instilled in my bother and me a sense of pride in who they were and where we came from. They held us accountable for making a difference and making a contribution, which would lift us up.

What is your proudest professional achievement?

I think that my proudest professional achievement was when I received my MSW in 1979 from Boston University School of Social work. I remember that the morning graduation featured the late Sen. Ted Kennedy as the large commencement speaker and my mother was such a fan of the Kennedy's and so happy. The world seemed full of possibility and promise!

Twenty-five years later I was back at BUSSW this time giving the commencement speech. I took that opportunity along with several friends from my graduating class to recommit myself to the profession by being re-hooded.


Clinical Associate Professor Gary Bailey, MSW, ACSW, is President of the International Federation of Social Workers and Past President of the National Association of Social Workers.

To read the full interview with Professor Gary Bailey visit,

Beverly-Sealey.jpgDr. Sealey, why did you choose social work as your profession?

My career in social work began as a para-professional social worker. I worked in a community health center for several years, that offered an array of medical, dental, ob-gyn, pediatric, ENT, optometry, mental health, and social services.

I worked in the social services department providing outreach, case management, and counseling services to children, adolescents, adults, the elderly, groups, and families, both in the center and in their homes.

I liked the interdisciplinary approach to community medicine, and the sense of group work among MD physicians, mental health and social service providers, and community organizers working at the center to advance the rights and advocate for the needs of the community and families we served.

What are your proudest achievements?

1. Having received a Ph.D. in social policy and social welfare, with a focus on criminal justice policy and racial minorities, from the Heller School at Brandeis University.

2. Having received the distinguished J. William Fulbright Senior Scholars Award, to teach and conduct research in Ghana for 2007.

3. Having received a research traineeship from the School of Medicine at Harvard University to learn about clinical research as an independent researcher.

4. Having received a master's degree in clinical social work from Simmons College School of Social Work.


Associate Professor Beverly C. Sealey, Ph.D., MSW, LICSW is First Vice President of the NASW Massachusetts Chapter.

To read the full interview with Dr. Beverly Sealey visit,

Visit the Beatley Library Archives to learn more about Social Work Month.

Posted by Amanda Voodre
Category: Faculty Highlights

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Amanda Voodre published on March 22, 2011 11:08 AM.

UCLA Prof Ernest Morrell says pop culture can help with literacy was the previous entry in this blog.

Professor Naresh Agarwal knows the secret to happiness is the next entry in this blog.

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